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Bodyguard review: Rides only on Salman-Kareena

Movie:
Bodyguard
Director:
Siddique
Cast:
Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Mahesh Manjrekar, Shatrughan Sinha, Hazel Keech, Katrina Kaif
Avg user rating:
Bodyguard Lovely Singh (Salman Khan) has a new job: to ensure the safety of Sartaj Rana's (Raj Babbar) daughter Divya (Kareena Kapoor). This is a special assignment for him, as he is deeply indebted to Rana for his help years ago. This debt makes him call his employer 'maalik'.

Tired of the daily 4 a.m. call for fitness training and his constant shadowing, Divya thinks up a trick to distract Lovely. She calls him continuously pretending to be a smitten college girl, and Lovely too falls for this anonymous voice.

In the bizarre ways of Hindi films, he also decides that the caller is his soul-mate and future wife. They just have to meet, that's all. Things get further muddled up, leading to a tearful finale.

The first half is breezy enough; you enjoy Lovely Singh's goofiness and the songs are fun. The second-half onwards the films gets progressively worse, and the ending is the film's undoing. Everybody cries, a kid plays matchmaker (like in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai), and the inevitable ending finally happens.

If you're wondering whether Salman appears shirtless in the film, the answer is: hell yeah, and you know what, that scene is priceless. All other essentials of a Salman film are present, too - the impossible stunts (jumping from one moving train to the other), quasi-comical action, the takiya kalam, and the boisterous songs (including one with Katrina).

The film essentially relies on a fat character called Tsunami for 'comedy', while also taking a dig at homosexuals. The bright spark is an inside-joke about the actor's personal life. Says Lovely to his boss at the security agency, "Katrina Kaif ka assignment khatam go gaya. Photo phaad doon?"

Writer-director Siddique (he has already directed the film in Malayalam and Tamil) makes sure the film looks good. The songs are excellently rendered, with striking visuals. Even some scenes like the rain-drenched funeral are very stylishly executed.

But what about the story? Isn't it ridiculous that our central character, a grown man, falls in love ("saccha pyaar") with an anonymous voice? Isn't' it odd that Divya, who makes these calls, doesn't even mask her true voice after a while?

Isn't it objectionable that a mother tells her twisted love-story to her son through a diary. She expects him to absorb the complexity of it all, and now play matchmaker between his father and someone else. That kid's gonna rake up some bill at the shrink's!

Salman Khan (this is his third Eid release after Wanted and Dabanng) is in form, flexing his rippling muscles on fully-waxed arms, fighting the bad guys, dancing gregariously. Kareena elevates the film with her strong performance. No one carries the ethnic look better than Kareena, and she looks ethereal in the bright colours and silver jewellery.

One wishes the second half followed the cheerfulness of the first half, instead of becoming a weepy, full-of-silly-twists-and-turns drama.

Bodyguard is endurable (and I say this without any condescension) for those who can forgive the haphazard story and be happy enjoying the songs and watching Salman and Kareena onscreen.

Rating: 2.5 stars

 

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